İrem UZUN -TDO- Russia said Tuesday it would impose entry bans on representatives of EU countries and institutions in response to EU sanctions placed on Russian officials over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. “The Russian side, acting on the basis of reciprocity, has decided to expand the list of representatives of EU Member States and institutions who will be denied entry to the Russian Federation,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The counter sanctions were announced after Moscow summoned senior diplomats from three EU countries where labs concluded Navalny was poisoned in August with Novichok, a Soviet-designed nerve agent. German, French and Swedish representatives were called to the Foreign Ministry in "connection with the introduction of EU anti-Russian sanctions," a spokeswoman told AFP. The European diplomats did not make public statements. The officials will not be allowed to enter Russia, the ministry added. "We reaffirm that any unfriendly action by Western countries will inevitably be met with an adequate response."
"We continue to call on Russia to clarify the use of a chemical weapon on Russian territory against a Russian citizen," a German Foreign Ministry source told to AFP in response to Russia’s announcement. "It's obvious that Russia has something to hide and Moscow has not shown a serious interest in investigating Navalny's poisoning,” Jürgen Hardt, a foreign policy spokesperson for the conservative Christian parties in Germany's parliament said.